The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia has grown to be Nintendo Co.’s biggest external stakeholder, according to a filing submitted on Friday, February 17.
According to Bloomberg, the Saudi PIF has raised its ownership of the Japanese gaming company from a little over 6% at the start of the year to 8.3%.
With its increased position, PIF now ranks ahead of Nintendo’s present stake and behind only the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund. The most recent acquisition, according to the report, was made purely for investment.
The most recent investments made by Saudi Arabia’s Gaming Industry Push PIF are driven by the country’s 2030 goals, which include reducing its reliance on oil by establishing strategic corporate partnerships and bringing in cutting-edge technology.
Technologies that the PIF has pursued include big data analysis, entertainment content, and renewable energy. The building of Neom, a futuristic metropolis in northwest Saudi Arabia, which will feature a gaming hub to entice companies, developers, and artists to work on games, is also being funded by PIF.
Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is more active than ever in the video game and esports businesses. The nation launched Savvy Games Group under the PIF banner with a $38 billion budget and industry veterans in charge. A Chinese competitive gaming organization funded by Tencent Holdings Inc. received a $260 million investment from Savvy recently.
Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., and Koei Tecmo Holdings Co. are just a few of the gaming and entertainment firms that PIF has added to its expanding portfolio. The most recent addition is the purchase of Nintendo shares.
Video Game Lovers Respond to Saudi Arabia’s Gaming Push According to FN, the decision has caused gamers to express their fears that Saudi Arabia may attempt to use its economic clout to sway the content of the video games created by these studios.
The Last of Us Part 2, the God of War games, and “Spec Ops: The Line” are just a few examples of games that Saudi Arabia has historically banned because of their content. Serkan Toto, an industry consultant, stated that despite this, he would not be shocked if PIF continued to grow its ownership of Nintendo in the future.
According to Bloomberg, this is PIF’s third investment in a Japanese video game company that has attained the 5% public disclosure requirement. Nexon Co. and Street Fighter maker Capcom Co. are two further investments that happened in 2022.